Wisconsin Governor Refuses to Delete Christian Social Post

By:  Dave Bohon
03/24/2014
       
Wisconsin Governor Refuses to Delete Christian Social Post

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has rejected the demands of an atheist group that he delete a Bible reference from his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has flatly rejected requests by the shamelessly self-promoting Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) that he delete an overtly Christian reference he posted to his official Twitter and Facebook accounts. On March 16 Walker posted a Tweet and Facebook entry citing the biblical reference Philippians 4:13, which reads: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

The governor did not actually quote the verse on Twitter, but the mere reference was sufficient for the atheist FFRF to swing into publicity mode, quickly sending out a press release informing one and all that it had demanded that the governor remove the post immediately. The group noted that on March 18 its president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, had sent a letter to the governor insisting that it is “improper for a state employee, much less for the chief executive officer of the state, to use the machinery of the state of Wisconsin to promote personal religious views.”

In her missive Gaylor scolded Walker with the untenable claim that as governor he had taken an oath to “uphold the entirely godless and secular U.S. Constitution. You have misused your secular authority and podium to promote not just religion over non-religion, but one religion over another in a manner that makes many Wisconsin citizens uncomfortable.”

Gaylor expressed her “dismay” at Walker's “misuse of gubernatorial and State of Wisconsin imprimatur to expressly promote your personal religious beliefs.” She added that this “braggadocio verse coming from a public official is rather disturbing. To say ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’ seems more like a threat, or the utterance of a theocratic dictator, than of a duly elected civil servant.”

Gaylor went on to “ask” that Walker “immediately delete this religious message from your gubernatorial Facebook and Twitter,” adding, “May we hear from you at your earliest convenience?”

In its press release the FFRF bizarrely wondered if Walker would actually “be able to get away with” exercising his First Amendment freedom. “If so, what might he post next,” the atheist group worried — “maybe something from Acts 10 (in which a sheet descends from above, with a voice saying, ‘Rise, Peter; kill, and eat’)? More sustenance and strength for the religious and exclusion for non-Christians.”

Governor Walker quickly responded to the FFRF challenge, assuring them through a spokesperson that he had no intention of removing the harmless but inspirational reference. “Governor Walker will not remove the post on his social media,” Governor Walker's press secretary Laurel Patrick wrote in a March 20 e-mail. “The verse was part of a devotional he read that morning, which inspired him, and he chose to share it.”

Patrick added that Walker frequently uses Facebook and Twitter “to engage with Wisconsinites on matters of public policy,” as well as to give constituents “a sense of who he is.” She concluded that the Scripture reference posted March 16 was nothing more than “a reflection of his thoughts for the day.”

Photo of Gov. Scott Walker: AP Images

(This article was originally published at TheNewAmerican.com on March 22, 2014, and is reposted here with permission.)

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